The Shape of Darkness

When the power goes out, as it does fairly often here at The Angle, the darkness, or rather the small light in the darkness brings the family together. Whatever disparate activities we were all up to, they are put on pause, and we find our way to each other and start the familiar hunt for candles, the lantern, flashlights and headlamps.

First, it’s an adventure. And then, when we have our more primitive lights on, for whatever reason, we always ride out the darkness together. Continue reading “The Shape of Darkness”

The Song and Dance of Fall

(Published September 4th in the Warroad Pioneer)

We danced our way into Fall on a recent rainy weekend. During a midday downpour, the five-year old and I stripped down, ran out into the chilly-at-first rain and danced in the grassy puddles with our hands and faces to the sky. It was earthy, delicious, giggling fun, and we twirled and sang until we were as soaked as river moss.

She starts school this week and will be the only kindergartner in our one-room school house. There’s no preschool at The Angle, so this first day of school is her legitimate first. Continue reading “The Song and Dance of Fall”

I Didn’t Know

We don’t know where the day will end up when we open our eyes to it. We don’t know how our lives will go even as we make our plans and pray our prayers. We don’t know where stories will lead, where roads will take us, or even where our own thoughts will meander. Continue reading “I Didn’t Know”

As Summer as the Fair

Celebrating Firsts and Lasts in the summer sun at our small-town County Fair

I woke to the roaring whisper of the wind through the treetops. It held me those first few minutes, like a song can hold a memory, and then the rain came. Quietly at first, it was the tuning of an orchestra on my rooftop before it burst into the bold sounds of brass and percussion.

It felt exquisitely “summer” lying awake to the sound of a warm rain. I had long since kicked off the quilt and lay with only the sheet covering my body. The ceiling fan kept the air moving and I shifted to my other side once more, one arm under my head and the other cradling my growing abdomen. Continue reading “As Summer as the Fair”

Memories and Legacies

 

It had been a rather perfect evening weather-wise.  The heat of the day resignedly gave way to a light breeze and a cloud cover that lowered the thermometer just enough. We sat at long picnic tables, plates full of potluck food and the sizzle of frying fish in the background. It was the first all-camp fish fry of the summer season and it felt special, a touch magical. Continue reading “Memories and Legacies”

Paying Heed

Sometimes you have to stop everything and listen to the wisdom of the winds and the wild things and the five-year old’s.

I stood on the top of the kitchen crossbeam, my hands braced on a log rafter, scrubbing the fish-fry grease that had floated, landed, and collected dust for all of last summer’s resort season. The gray water dripped down my wrist and collected in my sweatshirt. With one hand dirty and the other securing my precarious balance, a nose itch or hair in my eye had to be meditated away. “Clean the logs” was my only agenda. With my perch, even thinking wasn’t a wise distraction.

But then my Iris, in her five-year-old exuberance about bird nests and first dandelions and pretty rocks from the gravel road, came running loudly into the cabin. Continue reading “Paying Heed”

“Copy That”

 

Awake in the early morning hours, I relish the silence. The steady tick tock of the kitchen clock and the breathy hum of the refrigerator cycling on and off are my ambient noise. The human world is still and silent here at The Angle. Outside, the wolves prowl sometimes near but mostly far, the skunks raid my winter compost, and the owls hunt. The rare yard light hums and sputters, reflecting wide across the ugly April snow. Frozen and waiting, life feels hushed and reverent.

Until 6AM on the dot, when the Angle school bus roars by each weekday like a blaring alarm from the outside world sent to remind us we’re not truly alone and independent. Continue reading ““Copy That””